Boehner opponent in NC may get primary

By: Diary)  |  June 2nd, 2015 at 05:05 AM  |

It looks like one of the North Carolina GOP Congressmen who voted against reelectingRep. John Boehner (R-OH) N/A% as Speaker this year may get a primary challenge from the GOP establishment.  The Raleigh News and Observer reports that state Secretary of Transportation Tony Tata is mulling moving across the state into the 3rd Congressional District to challenge conservative incumbentRep. Walter Jones (R-NC) 84%.  Jones was one of two North Carolina GOP congressmen to vote for a Republican challenger to Speaker John Boehner earlier this year and continues to meet weekly with a group of conservative congressman working to replace Boehner.

Tata, who moved to NC six years ago to take the position of Superintendent of the Wake County Schools has never lived in the 3rd district and never been registered as a Republican in North Carolina.  Even after appointment as Secretary of Transportation in the administration of Republican Governor Pat McCrory, Tata has remained registered as an Unaffiliated voter.  Tata has run up a trial balloon to run for Congress in a district where he does not live under the banner of a party of whicch he is not a member.  Tata’s potential candidacy was boomed by consultant Carter Wrenn in the newspaper article.  Wrenn is the same consultant who quarterbacked the election of Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC) 61%, the most liberal Republican in the NC delegation, to Congress.

Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC) 84% is known as the fiercest Budget Hawk in the North Carolina delegation.  For many years, he has consistently voted against raising the debt limit, and he has been a dependable vote against Speaker Boehner’s series of budget and debt cave ins to Obama.   Jones was the only North Carolina Republican to vote against CRomnibus on both the procedural vote on the rule and on the final vote.  Jones has maintained a consistent A rating from the NRA and from National Right to Life.  His commitment to the unborn is symbolized by the lapel pin of two tiny feet he always wears on his jacket.

Another area where Jones and Tata do not see eye to eye is immigration.  Jones is the NC delegation’s fiercest immigration hawk, earning the only ”A” raring from major anti-amnesty organization Numbers USA in NC.  Tata on the other hand, controversially sided with liberal NC Attorney General Roy Cooper to authorize giving NC drivers licenses to illegal alien ”Dreamers” in NC.

Tata’s role as DOT Secretary may not play well in the rural east of North Carolina.  Tata put through a new scheme of allocation of road building funds which stripped money from rural areas like the 3rd district to funnel them to urban areas like Wake County, where Tata lives.  As DOT Secretary, Tata has mostly staffed the policy levels of his department with non-Republicans, including a cadre of career education bureaucrats.

Overall, for the last session of Congress, Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC) 84% tied with the 11th district’sRep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) 89% as the second most conservative congressman in the NC delegation in the Club for Growth rating.

Jones was the target of a major primary challenge from the Washington beltway establishment in 2014, when a young Washington, DC PR man / lobbyist named Taylor Griffin, who had never before lived in the district but had grown up in a neighboring district, was parachuted in to run against Jones, backed by lots of establishment money.  National conservative pundits Rush Limbaugh and Pat Buchanan singled out Jones victory over the well funded Griffin challenge as a major primary victory that cycle by conservatives over the establishment. That primary was closer than it should have been because the Jones campaign was slow to comprehend the level of resources that the establishment had committed to the Griffin effort.



NC-03: Tata coming after Walter Jones?

It’s no secret that Walter Jones irritates the political establishment.  The GOPe tried to get him in the 2014 primary.  Now, it appears they’re trying again with a new face: 

Tony Tata, the state transportation secretary, is seriously considering challenging Congressman Walter Jones in the GOP primary next year.

The contest would likely draw national attention, creating a contest between an Army general who is an Iraq and Afghanistan veteran against one of the few Republican critics in Congress of continued U.S. military involvement in the Middle East.

“He is seriously considering it,’’ Carter Wrenn, a veteran GOP strategist for Sen. Jesse Helms and others, said Monday. “He hasn’t made up his mind. I think he would be a pretty unique candidate.’’

Wrenn said Tata’s background as a combat veteran was particularly important at a time when the nation is figuring out how to deal with heightened threats from ISIS and Al Qaeda and other Middle Eastern groups.

“He has something to offer in the way of leadership that we don’t have now,’’ Wrenn said.

Wrenn said that Tata has been giving careful thought to running in the 3rd Congressional District, talking with consultants about how to set up and finance a campaign. Wrenn said he did not know if Tata would resign from his DOT post if he ran, but that was possible.

Translation: Wrenn and some other GOPe figures are busy recruiting Tata for the race.  (Carter Wrenn gave us Renee Ellmers in 2010, remember.)  Carter called his buddy Rob RielleWho? to get this trial balloon out there.  MORE: 

[…] Tata would potentially be the most high-profile challenger to Jones since Jones was elected in 1994. Jones has earned a reputation as a party maverick, criticizing U.S. involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan, and often straying on party-line votes. He has been close to libertarians such as Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and his father, former Congressman Ron Paul.

Not easywj

But it would not be an easy race for Tata. There has been a Jones — either Walter Jr. or his father — representing Eastern North Carolina since the mid-1960s.

There has not been a congressional incumbent defeated in a North Carolina primary since 1956. But Jones was pressed in his last election, winning in the primary over a well-financed opponent, Taylor Griffin, a former aide to President George W. Bush, by a 52-45 percent margin.

Griffin fought charges that he was the Washington establishment candidate — something that Tata will certainly work to avoid.

Although Tata has only lived in North Carolina for the past five years, he has been seen as an increasingly attractive figure in GOP circles because of a resume that includes leadership in the military, education and now transportation.

The West Point graduate served as a paratrooper and was Ranger-qualified, and rose with the 10th Mountain Division, the 82nd Airborne and 101st Airborne. He was deputy commanding general of U.S forces in Afghanistan (2006-2009).

He was chief operating officer of the District of Columbia Schools before coming to Raleigh, where he was superintendent of Wake County public schools (2010-12.) He was ousted when the Democrats won control of the Wake County school board.

McCrory named Tata state DOT secretary in 2013, where he has been widely seen as one of McCrory’s best appointments.

In his spare time, Tata writes action novels, with the proceeds going to a wounded warrior program.

It’s amazing.  Tea Party / grassroots folks talk about coming after GOP incumbents and it’s treated like treason.  Stuff like this?  Apparently, it’s not a problem.  You can sit back and fold your hands and smile while Tea Party influence is purged from office or any other party position.  Or you can move into the same war-footing the GOPe has apparently already assumed.



Establishment's Tata to challenge Walter Jones?

June 02, 2015 | 03:05 AM

According to the N&O, State DOT Secretary Tony Tata has put up a trial balloon to challenge Congressman Walter Jones in the 3rd district. Tata has never lived in the 3rd district and never been registered as a Republican in NC. He is a registered Unaffiliated. Tata's top appointees at DOT have also been almost all Democrats or Unaffiliated.

It is unclear if Tata would switch to Republican to run or stay an Unaffiliated or where he would try to set up residence in the district.

Walter Jones has stood strong for conservative principles in Congress against the squishy GOP establishment. That led the establishment to set a Washington lobbyist to carpetbag into the district to challenge Jones in the primary last year. It looks like they are up to another carpetbag stunt.

From the N&O article, it appears that the consultant involved with Tata is Carter Wrenn, the very same consultant who was behind liberal GOP Congresswoman Renee Ellmers. 

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Club For Growth: Foxx, Meadows, Jones MOST conservative NCGOPers in House for 2014


Each year, you have all kinds of groups ranking members of Congress according  to their voting records.  The Club For Growth, for instance, champions the concepts of limited government and fiscal conservatism.  That organization ranks members of the House and Senate from 1 to 435 — best to worst — according to how well they adhere to those concepts.  (A #1 ranking makes you an ideal conservative on fiscal issues, while a #435 ranking makes you a complete commie.) 

Michigan’s Justin Amash (R) is the Club’s top choice for 2014.  They’ve ranked him #1, with Jeff Duncan (R) of South Carolina coming in a close second.  You have to look down the list all the way to #31 before you see your first Tar Heel pol — Virginia Foxx.  

Mark Meadows (R-NC-11) comes in at #37, with Walter Jones coming in close behind at #39.  George Holding followed at #43 and Robert Pittenger tailed him at #48.

Patrick McHenry, also the House’s chief deputy whip, came in at #65, and his buddy Richard Hudson came in close behind at #68.

Howard Coble finished up his career with a #154 ranking, while Renee Ellmers rounded out the group at a dismal #173 ranking.

Over in the Senate, Richard Burr came in at #21 of the 100 members of that body.  Kay Hagan finished her career in that body ranked #67.   For South Carolina, Tim Scott (R) was ranked #10, and Lindsey Graham was ranked #35.

Here are the key votes used to compile the rankings for House members.  Here are the key votes used for the Senate rankings



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Jones Votes Against Boehner, Stands With Third District


Two NC congressmen vote against Boehner

FILE - In this Dec. 11, 2014 file photo, House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio gestures during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. He was re-elected speaker Tuesday despite tea party opposition. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

RALEIGH, N.C. — Two U.S. House Republicans from North Carolina were part of a GOP bloc that voted Tuesday against re-electing Ohio Congressman John Boehner as House speaker, while one conservative Republican reversed course and backed the sometimes controversial leader.

Boehner was re-elected to the top job in the U.S. House despite opposition from conservatives. 

Eleventh District Congressman Mark Meadows and 3rd District Congressman Walter Jones, both conservative North Carolina Republicans, voted against Boehner, according to news reports. Instead, they backed Florida Republican Congressman Dan Webster, a favorite among the tea party. Boehner is unpopular with the more stridently conservative wing of the GOP. 

Meanwhile, Mark Walker, a conservative freshman representing the Greensboro-based 6th Congressional District, issued a news release to explain why he backed Boehner.

"This was a difficult vote, as I share the frustrations expressed by many of my constituents, but I cast my vote today with a sense of optimism," Walker said in a news release. "I plan to keep the speaker, and the whole House leadership team, accountable – to encourage them to pass conservative legislation and not buckle under pressure from the White House or Senate. When I believe legislation is not in the best interests of the 6th District of North Carolina and the American people, I will have no problems voting against leadership."

Walker had been critical of Boehner during the primary, in which he beat out a field that included former Rockingham County District Attorney Phil Berger Jr., the son of a high-profile state senate leader. But The Hill newspaper noted, "Walker received $10,000 from Boehner’s leadership PAC."

Of Webster and other opposition candidates, Walker said, "I do not believe they possess the record of leadership and accomplishment necessary to be Speaker of the House. I cannot just vote for the most conservative candidate when considering a position that is this important to the country."



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